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Alicization Beginning (アリシゼーション・ビギニング, Arishizēshon Biginingu?) ist das neunte Buch der "Sword Art Online"-Light-Novel-Serie, veröffentlicht am 10. Februar 2012.
Kirito is thrown into Underworld through FullDiving at first, and he and his friends Eugeo and Alice go on an adventure that goes awry. In Underworld, seven years later, Kirito reappears and this time, Kirito, Eugeo, and Alice's sister Selka go on a quest to bring Alice back to her hometown.
Prologue I (7th Month of Human World Calendar 372)Bearbeiten
Woodcutter Eugeo was in the middle of chopping down a giant tree, more specifically, the «Gigas Cedar». This was Eugeo's and his friend Kirito's «Sacred Task», as the tree was quite resistant, even with several generations and more than three hundred years of diligent daily chopping using the equally tough «Dragon Bone Axe». At that time, only one mel had been cut through, with three more mels to chop down. Eugeo and Kirito lived in Rulid Village, which is a part of the «Norlangarth North Empire». In order to expand the fields and pastures, the «Gigas Cedar» must be cut down to enter the forest behind it. However, at the current rate, it would take about nine hundred years more to chop the tree down. When the time for work was over, Kirito and Eugeo began grappling each other before halting at hearing the scolding voice of their friend Alice. Alice was the village chief's daughter studying the Sacred Arts in Rulid Village. At noon, she brought lunch to Kirito and Eugeo. After being asked a question on how to make their food's «Life» last longer, they began a small quest to search for something that will keep their bento cool - finding ice in the forbidden «Mountain Range at the Edge».
Eugeo and Kirito waited impatiently for Alice so they could finally go to the mountain range to find ice and set forth on their quest when she was ready. Whilst walking, Eugeo pondered on their future, and their past, before being assigned to his «Sacred Task» as a woodcutter. Kirito, believed that they could still choose their desired «Sacred Task» to be guard, and shared his wish to cut down the «Gigas Cedar» in two years. Eugeo refuted the idea, since the dream was impossible. Before lunch, they had disbelievingly reached the mountain pass. Going into the dark cave in the pass, the air had grown considerably colder, enabling them to see their breaths, even though it was summer. However, walking further into the cave was a surprise: white dragon bones, belonging to the white dragon who lived in the cave, killed by a sword.
Alice, Eugeo, and Kirito came to the conclusion that an Integrity Knight did it. Kirito moved the remains, only to find a sword, the «Blue Rose Sword». It was absurdly heavy, forcing Kirito to leave the new found treasure, before going back to the original purpose for why they were there: ice. After achieving their goal, they got ready to head back for the village, only to get lost. They had taken the wrong path, ending up in the Dark Territory, the land of the devil tribes. Alice, Eugeo, and Kirito arrived just when the White Integrity Knight was fighting one of the Dark Knights. After the Integrity Knight killed the Dark Knight, Alice tripped over while rushing over to the dying Dark Knight and accidentally grazed the soil of the Dark Territory with her hand. A dazed Kirito and Eugeo carried Alice back to Rulid Village.
The next day started off as normal, but at lunch, an Integrity Knight appeared at Rulid Village to take Alice away for interrogation, then for execution because she had broken a rule of the Taboo Index by touching the soil of the Dark Territory. Kirito, in an attempt to free Alice, went after the Knight with his axe, but was forced down by the other villagers. Eugeo stood frozen due to his inability to go against the rules. The Integrity Knight ignored the commotion and left on his dragon with Alice bound to the saddle.
Prologue II (June 2026)Bearbeiten
Asada Shino waits for Kazuto at «Dicey Café» while watching the rain. Kazuto arrives late due to taking the train. Ordering a drink from Andrew (Agil), Shino and Kazuto talk about the latest event, the fourth BoB, and the previous event situation with the «Death Gun» murders. Soon, they switch to a new topic, which is Kazuto's part-time job, to FullDive for three days in a dreamlike state. While Shino comments that he looks unhealthy, Kazuto just shrugs it off, going back to the main topic on hand from Gun Gale Online and the winner of the Battle Royale Tournament being able to predict the pattern of veteran players, as well as a sentence that left Shino in fear: "Your soul will be so sweet." Shino invites Kazuto to participate in the next tournament, to which he ponders upon it. Checking his cell phone, Shino and Kazuto follow a red dot that moves toward where they are located. Asuna arrives.
Asuna first shares a secret friend handshake with Shino. When Kazuto asks when the two of them got close, he gets upset to hear that Shino spent a night over at Asuna's house while he has not even been in her house. Asuna then starts up a conversation on how Kazuto has coordinates to where she is located, while on her cell phone, she has Kazuto's temperature and heart rate. The heart measurements come from a sensor implanted under Kazuto's skin, recommended by his part-time job. While Shino makes a joke on this, Kazuto quickly covers up, but not before the two girls see his temperature goes up even higher. Shino questions about his job, to which Kazuto replies it is a new machine called Brain Machine Interface (BMI) by the company «Rath». Asuna mentions that it relates to Alice in Wonderland. Kazuto then goes into a full-depth explanation on how the BMI works, which is a theory using Quantum brain dynamics. Just when the theory becomes god-like, Kazuto takes another turn and mentions that these memories from a computer, or even a human soul, are called «Fluctuating Light»s or shortened to «Fluctlight». However, he cannot recall the memories in the BMI, as it is security protected.
When Shino teases on how Kazuto is or is not in FullDive technology, Kazuto starts doubting, However, he makes her joke backfire before becoming serious again and returning to the topic. Kazuto talks about how the Dive he does is similar to a dream. But, as this project will take a long time, and the final test coming around the corner, Kazuto decides to quit. Now nearly six, Shino, Asuna, and Kazuto wrap up their conversation. As they depart, Shino stops abruptly, a bad feeling washes over her. When questioned, she shrugs it off, since the feeling was no longer there.
Asuna and Kazuto take the train to the former's home in Setagaya while holding hands. Asuna recalls a scene in Sword Art Online where Kirito nearly dies in «Granzam» on Aincrad's 55th Floor. She then turns to another memory in which they held hands while they watched the floating castle collapse. She was shaken out of her daze when Kazuto stops and turns to her to talk to Asuna about his plans of going to America to study. He invites Asuna to come with him, to which she accepts, wanting to stay at his side forever. Asuna asks more questions on the research of Kazuto's part-time job. Kazuto replies that the machine is most likely used to try to understand the human consciousness. They soon reach at the small park near Asuna's house and a jogger comes up to them to ask directions to the station. However, the plan backfires as Kazuto recognize the stranger as a member of the red-player killing guild, «Laughing Coffin», Johnny Black, as well as a murderer during the Gun Gale Online incident. Still seething hatred against Kazuto, he brings out a syringe from his jacket, the object being the infamous «Death Gun». Kazuto orders Asuna to get help while he tries to hold off Johnny Black. Instead, Kazuto gets stabbed in the shoulder by the syringe, while he manages to dig his umbrella in his enemy's thigh. Asuna rushes back and calls an ambulance, which promptly arrived to the scene. The paramedics attempted to use atonine to stop the effects of the Succinycholine, but his heartbeat began to slow down. The paramedics then tried to massage his heart, but, despite this, his heart stopped, leading the paramedics to deem him dead.
Chapter 1 (Underworld, 3rd Month of Human World Calendar 378)Bearbeiten
Kirito woke up in an unknown forest and he quickly determined his "FullDive" has gone wrong. He notices that a piece of his memory went missing, unable to remember what had happened after stopping in the small park near Asuna's home. Kirito then suddenly realized that his clothes were not normal, as they seemed like they came from a fantasy game. Thinking that he might have woken up in a virtual world, he tried to log out, but no matter how hard he tried, no windows appeared. After realizing that he was stuck in Underworld, he attempted to call the operator Higa to stop the Dive, but no response was heard. Kirito then realized that he should take action and decided that he should first find a source of water to quench his thirst, thus he traveled to a crystal clear stream. Refreshed, he suddenly heard a chopping sound and walked towards it, but not before seeing an exclusionary scene where he saw two boys and a girl standing in a full mid-summer sunlight.
As fast as it appeared, the scene disappears. But Kirito had a nostalgic feeling of childhood memories, even though he has never had any recollections in the Underworld. He turns to the forest where the sound of chopping is heard. It is repeated fifty times with a low-sounding count, followed by a three-minute break. Kirito reaches the clearing, where he sees a large tree, no less than four meters. The clearing had a boy with an axe in his hand. Kirito, still in a daze and confusion, asks the boy questions, first how to log out, but receiving a reply of another question, Kirito determines that there was no way to escape, so he asks the next best question: a place to stay. The boy answers that the village was not far off, but if Kirito wants to be accompanied, he would have to wait. Kirito decides to wait, making the boy delighted. The boy invites Kirito to a meager meal, and realizing he has not yet provided his name, he says that his name is Eugeo. Eugeo gives a Pan (bread) to Kirito, and checks the life on the item. Kirito, in relief, confirms in his brain that this is a virtual world. With a bite of the bread that was extremely hard, Kirito comments that someone should bring a boxed lunch. Eugeo replies that the person who did bring bentos was taken away by the Integrity Knight, six years ago, but he still believes that she is still alive. Now done with lunch, Eugeo shows Kirito his «Sacred Task», being a «Giant tree cutter». Kirito tries cutting the tree, and after a few attempts, he managed to land a cut. By the time they finished, dusk had arrived, and they headed back to the village.
Selka, a girl learning the sacred arts from Sister Azariya, explains the rules of the village to Kirito, and he goes to sleep with many unanswered questions. The next day, Selka persistently nudges Kirito up, and after church worship, he meets up with Eugeo to continue the «Sacred Task». At noon, they talk about the sacred arts and epidemics that recently took twenty residents, most likely because of the goblin tribes. Kirito then begins cutting, but a strong feel through his mind makes him ask Eugeo if there were anything harder than the Axe. Eugeo replies that the Divine Instruments are the only things harder. Eugeo then brings out the «Blue Rose Sword». The swordsman wields the heavy sword with intent to cut the tree with it. They go back to the tree, but because Kirito's Object Control Authority (OC Authority) was not high enough to properly use the sword, he could not activate any skills with it and missed hitting the designated area of the tree, thus the tree's Life fell by only one point. The two then decide to use the axe instead to finish the day.
Back at the church, Kirito takes a bath. Once finished, he goes to his room, where Selka awaits. Kirito asks Selka about her sister Alice, and she responds to the best she can, while being upset that her sacred arts are not as good as her sister’s. Kirito tells her that no matter what, she is amazing. Soon, the bell chimes nine, and Selka leaves for the night, leaving Kirito in his room alone, ponder Alice’s appearance. A bright golden light flashes before his eyes before he falls asleep.
When Kirito awakes, Sister Arizaya tells him that Selka is missing. Knowing that he bears responsibility, Kirito leaves with Eugeo to go search for Selka. They arrive at the «Mountain Range at the Edge» just in time to hear the young girl scream from inside the cave. Kirito and Eugeo run inside, only to meet a mob of goblins face to face. Kirito decides to be reckless and charges all of them head on. Within the first attack, Kirito and Eugeo take down four goblins. In another instant, Kirito takes on the leader of the goblins, «Lizard Killer Ugachi». Although Kirito’s first two blocks failed, he uses his «Sword Skill», «Sharp Nail», effectively breaching the goblin’s defense. However, he also takes an extremely painful cut, and unused to the pain, he did not move when the goblin attacks him, only to be saved by Eugeo, whose stomach was sliced open horizontally by Ugachi’s sword. In a flash, Kirito remembers his purpose and determinedly kills Ugachi. Kirito frees Selka and takes her to a dying Eugeo. She uses a highly dangerous Sacred Art to transfer Kirito’s life into Eugeo. Nearing the end of the road, Kirito hears a voice. Alice awaits the two boys at the top of Central Cathedral.
After two days of resting, Kirito and Eugeo returned to chopping the «Gigas Cedar» and they found that the axe felt amazingly light. They reach the halfway mark much earlier today and Kirito, having noticed an increase in his OC Authority after the fight with the goblins, decided to bring out the beautiful sword out again. This time, Kirito successfully activates «Horizontal» against the tree. Eugeo then expressed wanting to learn Sword Skills. Kirito taught Eugeo the basic Sword Skills that he used and the latter would practice extensively on the tree. Within five days, the «Gigas Cedar» was cut down. Gasupht, the village leader, announced a celebration for the fall of the tree. At the climax, he allowed Eugeo to choose his next «Sacred Task» and Eugeo, after some deliberation, chose to be a swordsman. However, the current Rulid Village guard, Jink, thought that it was unfair for Eugeo to leave before him, so it was decided for the two of them to duel to see which one of them was stronger and should be the first to leave. Eugeo, using a skill he learnt on his own, «Slant», easily defeated Jink in the duel by striking his sword. The celebration continued the whole day until the bell chimed ten.
The next day, Garitta awaited for Kirito and Eugeo along the path towards the fallen tree. Before the two boys left to Zakkaria, the elder gave them a gift: a branch of the Gigas Cedar. Garitta then told the two to visit a man named Sadore so that he could craft the branch into a sword. The two thanked Garitta, and both walked towards the path to finding Alice, on a path they would not be coming back from for a long time...